The Children's Picnic and Real Food Fair will be held April 7, from 1 to 5 p.m., on the rolling hills of the historic French Legation Museum, 802 San Marcos St. The free event, which celebrates the third anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative, invites families to pack a picnic, bring a blanket, grow a garden, play games, meet farmers and local food vendors, and enjoy cooking demos, movies, music and much more.
The Children's Picnic and Real Food Fair is an opportunity for families to bring picnic lunches from home or build them at the event made from fresh fruits, vegetables and prepared foods and beverages that a variety of local farmers market food vendors will be offering for sampling and sale.
Two art installations are among the features of the Picnic. The Children and Their Food Exhibit, a Picture the Children Program of the Children's Environmental Health Institute and sponsored by Whole Kids Foundation, is designed to evoke an emotional response in the viewers and advance the discussion about children's health and their food.
The second exhibit, The Jemima Code, reflects upon the Legation's historical period with larger than life images of African-American cooks taken in and around the kitchen at the turn of the century. The images are taken from food and nutrition author Toni Tipton-Martin's upcoming book, The Jemima Code: A Gallery of Great Cooks Share Their Secrets (University of Texas Press, 2014).
Other activities include:
• City Proclamation Ceremony: A City Proclamation Ceremony will take place at 3:00 on the front porch of the French Legation Museum, which stands as a reminder of life in the Republic of Texas era.
• Featured speaker: Olympic gold medalist Garrett Weber-Gale will encourage attendees to take charge of their health with the inspiring story of his triumph over high-blood pressure at 2:30 pm on the front porch of the French Legation Museum.
• Chef demos: Culinary students from local schools, including the Institute of Hospitality and Culinary Arts at AISD's Travis High and the Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts, will show families how to make easy and healthy snacks and meals.
• Gardening activities: Interactive activities will include "Create Your Own Square-foot Garden," which will allow participants to plant a portable garden to take home; a "Find that Plant" scavenger hunt on the grounds; plus opportunities to talk to farmers and gardening experts about growing your own food.
• Food and wellness education: There will be opportunities to meet representatives from Austin-area nonprofits and other wellness experts to learn about local food and wellness programs and discover volunteer opportunities. We will also be raffling a child's bike at the Bike Austin booth.
• Bonus event: At 5:30 p.m. picnic-goers will pack up and may move to the theater at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, 1165 Angelina St., for a special showing of the film, Locavore: Local diet, Healthy Planet, an uplifting look at the benefits to health and the community when we grow and eat our own food.
The Children's Picnic and Real Food Fair is co-presented by EdibleAustin magazine, Toni Tipton-Martin's SANDE Youth Project, the Children's Environmental Health Institute, the French Legation, and supported by the City of Austin.
For more information and a complete list of vendors and participating organizations, visit us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/274084896058713